On Wednesday, June 23, Britney Spears spoke publicly for the first time about the conservatorship she has lived under for 13 years.
In a near-half hour testimony, the 39-year-old broke her silence, describing the case as even worse than people had imagined.
She recounted what she described as years of trauma under the "abusive" arrangement and at the hands of the people in charge, namely her father Jamie Spears.
Here is Spears' 24-minute speech transcript in full, lightly edited for clarity.
Britney Spears: I just got a new phone, and I have a lot to say, so bear with me. Basically, a lot has happened since two years ago, the last time — I wrote all this down — the last time I was in court.
I will be honest with you. I haven't been back to court in a long time, because I don't think I was heard on any level when I came to court the last time. I brought four sheets of paper in my hands and wrote in length what I had been through the last four months before I came there. The people who did that to me should not be able to walk away so easily.
I'll recap. I was on tour in 2018 that I was forced to do. My management said if I don't do this tour, I will have to find an attorney and by contract my own management could sue me if I didn't follow through with the tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. And with the conservatorship, I couldn't even get my own attorney. So out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour.
When I came off that tour, a new show in Las Vegas was supposed to take place. I started rehearsing early, but it was hard because I'd been doing Vegas for four years and I needed a break in between.
But no, I was told 'this is the timeline and this is how it's going to go'. I rehearsed four days a week. Half of the time in the studio and half of the other time in a Westlake studio. I was basically directing most of the show. I actually did most of the choreography, meaning I taught my dancers my new choreography myself. I take everything I do very seriously. There're tonnes of video with me at rehearsals.
I wasn't good — I was great. I lead a room of 16 new dancers in rehearsals.
It's funny to hear my managers' side of the story. They all said I wasn't participating in rehearsals and I never agreed to take my medication, which my medication is only taken in the mornings. It's never at rehearsals. They don't even see me so how are they even claiming that?
When I said no to one dance move and to rehearsals, it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere. And I said 'no, I don't want to do it this way'.